Hot corals: The Golden torch

Mix in the right marine circles and the hot coral they’re all talking about right now, is the Gold torch, Euphyllia glabrescens.

Euphyllia are common in the marine hobby and known by both their aforementioned genus name and several common names, Hammer, Frogspawn, Grape, and Torch. But the one they all want at the moment is the Gold torch.

Torch corals are usually brown/green with yellow/green/beige tips, but like with so many corals in the hobby right now, its the brightly coloured or unusually coloured specimens which are the most coveted, and the Aussie gold torch is one of them.

I admit to only mixing in mini marine circles in the North West of England, but in just a couple of days two wholesalers, PM Aquatics and Tropical Marine Centre, and two retailers, Kraken Corals and Burscough Aquatics, all got them in. Then a Reefbuilders video popped up, and Jake Adams covered them too, and fragged them. They’re hot stuff.

I took a phone call from one serial coral collector who actually exclaimed when I mentioned Gold torch to him, and there were more people reserving them and trying to find the money for them, than there were Gold torch heads available.

Euphyllia collection
Aquarium and photo copyright Jake Green

Price

But for the seasoned lps collectors, the price of recent imports has given them a bad taste in their mouths. With all corals coming out of Indonesia now banned, and Aussie collectors knowing when something is in demand, the price of Gold torches has rocketed. Expect to pay £250 per head, retail price, in the UK. At that price the Gold torch also attracts speculators, keen to buy a single head, propagate several more heads, and then sell them on for tidy sums.

Variants

But there is more to it than that too. There are Gold torches, and Gold torches. Some are more copper coloured, with others yellow, or gold. Then apart from tentacle colour you have base colour and tip colour, further valuing or devaluing one torch against another, and torches as a whole now come with many monikers, making them ever more valuable and desirable, including Atomic, Dragon Soul, Holy Grail, Todd’s Torch, Aussie Gold Tip, Indo Gold, and Aussie Pink Tip.

Many people specialise not only in Euphyllia spp. but Euphyllia glabrescens morphs, and if you’re into that sort of thing, a picture online and a name like Dragon Soul, can you get you very excited.

Dragon Soul torch coral, Euphyllia glabrescens
Picture copyright Jake Green.

Aquarium care

Euphyllia as a whole are quite easy to care for in the aquarium, and I equate them with soft corals when it comes to ease of keeping, especially if your parameters are as for natural seawater, and monitored and dosed regularly to keep them that way.

Euphyllia live in deeper waters in the wild, often quite turbid, meaning lighting shouldn’t be too full-on. They don’t need or appreciate strong water flow, and grow naturally in huge, single species colonies.

In the aquarium they should be placed mid to low down, and given space around them so they don’t wage war on anything. Euphyllia are fine with their own kind however, and Euphyllia gardens made up of Hammer or Frogspawn are both pleasing on the eye, and very achievable, as long as you have the time, or the money.

Put your pumps on Feed Mode, feed a variety of lps sized dry or frozen foods nice and regularly, and you’re away. Rich, blue LED lighting suits them too, adding to their fluorescent appeal.

A branching species, Torches can be fragged with ease, by breaking the branched skeletons either with pliers, or a Gryphon bandsaw.

Torch coral collection
Pic supplied by Jake Green